Magazine article Out

The Secret Garden

Magazine article Out

The Secret Garden

Article excerpt

VISIONARY DIRECTOR JAMES BIDGOOD POUND HIS SOULMATE IN A GRINDHOUSE.

The 1971 cult film Pink Narcissus is a colordrenched gay erotic fantasia, contrasting a hustler's sexual reveries with the sordid reality of the underworld. The writer and director, James Bidgood, had labored on the film for close to ioyears before aproduction company came in with last-minutefunding. They ended up taking the film away before he could edit it. Thus began a four-year fugue of depression that wasn't pierced until he met his partner, Alan Blair.

I met him in 1975 at an old movie theater called the Metropolitan on East I4th Street in New York. It showed straight films, but it was a gay suck-off palace. There should be a plaque on the sidewalk because it was incredible. Hundreds of fairies would have sex in the balconies - the first floor was mostly old winos passed out. But the rest of the place was solid fruit, and they were all a-suckin' and a-carrying on. I was blowing somebody in the first row and also taking drugs. I had my little metal box out and was selecting which acid and what pills to take and smoking a joint. And this silhouette went by to the door to the alley.

There was something about that silhouette. I put my tin box away and went to the alley, which was pitch dark unless someone lit a joint. In the darkness I reached out and touched him, and the electricity was incredible.

In the theater, we did it in the toilet and behind the movie screen. Several people would join in and we had mini orgies all over and some very nasty things took place. He insisted on not getting a cab. He said, "If you don't come with me on the bus, it means you don't want me." I was tripping on 18 kinds of acid with my eyes rolling in my head. You know the fluorescents on the bus? Rays were coming off of me. I was stinking and my God, my eyes. In those days, no one turned his head. It was after the hippies. We took it for granted. You could walk down the street naked with a roaring hard-on. Going on the bus was traumatic for me because I wasn't used to it, but no one noticed.

Alan had an act that usually caused people to run. He had rings in the ceiling and a trapeze and would hang by his balls. He said, "Do you mind if I go into the other room? I'd like to change into something you might enjoy." And he left the room. The lighting changed so there was only light coming through the incense and pot smoke. And Donna Summer started singing. Suddenly, this leather fishman stepped in. Anyone else would have been terrified. And he pumped, so he had enormous private parts coming out of this brown leather costume. …

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